Jan. 15, 2016
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The 37th-ranked University of Notre Dame men’s tennis team will kick off its spring dual season this weekend with a pair of matches on Saturday at the Eck Tennis Pavilion.
WHAT: Matches 1 & 2
WHO: No. 37 Notre Dame vs. Michigan State | No. 37 Notre Dame vs. Detroit
WHEN: January 16, 2016 | Noon ET & 5:30 p.m. ET
WHERE: Eck Tennis Pavilion
LIVE STREAM: WatchND.tv
LIVE STATS: |
Below, find all the need-to-know info as the Irish begin their march toward the their 13th-straight NCAA Championship appearance.
Scouting Michigan State
The Spartans provide the Irish with a Big Ten foe to open the 2016 season, with a youthful lineup comprised of four freshmen, two sophomores, two juniors and one senior. Last season, Michigan State posted a 13-16 record, and Spartan players went 18-23 in singles and 6-12 in doubles during fall tournament play. Freshmen Colin Harvey and Alexander Kim led the Spartans with matching 3-2 records this fall, while sophomore Michael Dube and junior Mac Roy went 3-2 in doubles.
Notre Dame is 51-32 all time against Michigan State, including 1-0 under head coach Ryan Sachire.
The Titans return six players from last season’s team, which fell to the Irish 6-1 during a meeting on March 15, 2015. Junior Patryk Koscielski led the Titans with 13 singles and 10 doubles victories last season, while junior Kacper Stelmaszak and sophomore Nathan Ponton notched 10 singles victories each. Detroit went 5-16 as a team last season.
Notre Dame has won all 22 meetings with Detroit in program history.
The Irish enter the 2016 season with a No. 37 ranking in the Oracle/ITA Men’s Tennis Rankings, matching their final ranking of the 2015 season. In singles, senior Quentin Monaghan enters the year ranked No. 36 in the singles poll, while Monaghan and classmate Alex Lawson come in as the No. 6 doubles team in the country after debuting at No. 28 in the fall.
Senior Quentin Monaghan returns to top the Irish singles lineup after a breakout season in 2015 in which he became the 18th All-American in Notre Dame men’s tennis history. He compiled a 33-7 overall record in 2014-15, including a 20-3 dual record en route to a run to the semifinals of the NCAA Singles Championship. Monaghan met all three possible All-America criteria, earning a top 16 seed (No. 9-16), advancing to at least the Round of 16 (semifinalist) and finishing the season ranked inside the top 20 (No. 7). Monaghan spent the fall at elite tournaments throughout the country, including the American Collegiate Invitational, Oracle/ITA Masters, ITA All-American Championships and USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships.
Combining Their Strengths
Debuting as doubles partners during the 2015 fall season, seniors Quentin Monaghan and Alex Lawson proved to be a formidable doubles combination. The pair captured the 2015 ITA Midwest Regional Doubles Championship and advanced to the semifinals at the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships during fall play, posting an 8-2 record. Monaghan and Lawson each bring individual strengths to their tandem, Monaghan as a singles player and Lawson on the doubles court. Both have achieved success at the highest levels of collegiate tennis, with Monaghan having reached the semifinals of the 2015 NCAA Singles Championships and Lawson with two trips to the NCAA Doubles Championship under his belt with Greg Andrews (’14) and Billy Pecor (’15).
Monaghan was the first Irish singles player to reach the NCAA semifinals since the team and individual championships were separated in 1977. Lawson and Pecor became the first Notre Dame doubles tandem to advance to the Round of 16 since 1998 and spent the majority of 2015 ranked inside the top 15.
Joanne Norell, athletics communications assistant at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2014 and coordinates communications efforts for the Notre Dame women’s soccer, men’s tennis, women’s tennis and fencing programs. Norell is a 2011 graduate of Purdue University and earned her master’s degree from Georgetown University in 2013.